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Math Rules!

Rule #1 for parents in math: NEVER again say, “I was never very good in math.” Especially never say in front of your child, “I was never very good in math, so I guess it’s no surprise that my child struggles, too.”

How might you best learn math? Is it the same as your child? You might watch my TEDx talk at http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxEnola-Jane-Kise-Neuroscienc;search%3AJane%20Kise to gain some insights into this topic. Use it to ponder where you were helped and hindered in your own math experiences—and how you can make your child’s experiences better.

There’s no such thing as a math gene. A very few people have disabilities similar to dyslexia in reading that interfere with easy mastery of math. In most cases, though, people with math anxiety didn’t receive instruction in ways that met their needs.

Math anxiety doesn’t really exist in many other countries; Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers http://www.gladwell.com/outliers/index.html has a wonderful chapter on cultural attitudes on math. In the US we tend to espouse that you are or aren’t good at math. In Asian countries, the general belief is that anyone can excel at math if they work hard. Effort creates ability, not natural talent. An amazing thought—we all have the capacity to be good at math, with good instruction and effort.

Jane Kise, Ed.D. – Educational Advisor and Consultant, 
Jane  writes an insightful post every Tuesday for Kidtelligent. Jane is an educational consultant, specializing in teambuilding, coaching, and school staff development. She is also the coauthor of more than 20 books. Jane’s website  is  www.janekise.com